Breaking Love Page 23

“I don’t know about a backpack, girl. Go back inside.”

“Do you know when he will be back?”


“You must be so important to the team.” My sarcasm wasn’t lost on him judging by the scowl.

“I follow orders.”

“I’m sure you do.” I closed the door and sunk against it, wondering once again how I ended up here. Of all the things Dash was capable of, I never thought he would hold me against my will.

Maybe he has the code written down somewhere…

With renewed strength, I rushed through the apartment, turning every doorknob until I came across a door that was, unfortunately, locked. Another door revealed a room that appeared to be a guest bedroom with the addition of toys scattered about and various teddy bears. Against better judgment, I ventured further inside and picked up a stuffed turtle with a bandana tied around its face like a mask.


It was still hard to believe Sheldon had a kid… with Keenan of all people. He had been the biggest pussy hound of Bainbridge High, who I had pegged as someone with commitment issues. When he ran away four years ago, my assumptions proved to be a fact. I knew one day, I would meet them all face to face again. I never thought it would be on a wedding day.

With it came the harsh realization that they all grew up without me.

Over the years, I lived with regret, its intensity growing every day until I had no choice but to feel resentment for everything I had to give up, and everyone who led me there.

I didn’t blame anyone, but it didn’t stop me from resenting.

When I felt the first tear, hot and offensive, trail from my eye and down my cheek, I hurriedly set the stuffed turtle back in its place and fled the room.

“Don’t be stupid, Willow. Don’t be stupid.”

When my pep talk to myself didn’t work, I rushed for the kitchen and downed glasses of water until I was choking on it. I hated that my emotions were running out of control for friends I didn’t know anymore.

When I was done drowning my emotions, I aimlessly drifted out of the kitchen and looked around for signs of the person Dash had become. The luxury of the apartment only spoke of the wealth I already knew him to have, but what I really wanted to know was if there was someone else—if there had ever been someone else.

Someone he found comfort in, shared his dreams with, held close at night. Someone worth falling for.

The living room held exactly what I needed when the walls didn’t. I picked up the first picture from the fireplace and found an adorable picture of Kennedy when she was a baby. I didn’t know much about babies, but she appeared to be the size of a newborn. A thin, pretty pink bow adorned her tiny head, and her dark eyes stared innocently at the camera.

I couldn’t help but to smile down at her while fighting tears of regret. I was torn away by the low beep of the door as it unlocked. I set the picture down and crept out of the living room, assuming Dash had come home early. Just as I entered the hallway, the door opened, and only a second later, the apartment was filled with the sound of a single gunshot. I stared soundlessly at the bleeding hole in the guard’s head. I didn’t react until he hit the wooden floor but found it was too late.

There were three who closed in on me. The first grasped me tight against his body. My futile struggles spurred my anger enough to bring my knee up between his legs much as I had with Dash, except this time I really wanted to maim. Apparently, he felt the same when he brought me down with a backhand that had my head ringing hard enough to rival Big Ben.

The skin of my knees were being burnt as they scrubbed across the floor. As if that wasn’t enough, my hair was nearly yanked from its roots when a strong hand gripped it tight, forcing my head back. A cloth appeared over my nose and mouth, and sadly, I was only able to struggle for seconds before I succumbed to darkness.



I LEFT A guard at the door with a trapped Willow inside before heading to my office. I left earlier than usual when I got the idea of staying home and spending the day losing myself in her. Somehow, she made it easy to forget that I had an entire company to run and thousands of jobs relying on me.

I needed to think, and I couldn’t do that while being within a hundred feet of her. After admitting she couldn’t be trusted, I realized kidnapping her was for the best, if not to prevent her from doing whatever she came to do, then to save her. Now, I only needed to figure out what or who she needed saving from.

Four years ago, I had become adept at reading her like an open book, and right now, it read that she is in trouble, or at the very least hiding something. For Willow, maybe the latter was much more dangerous.

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